The advent of the Corona Virus; also known as COVID 19; has taken the world and nation states by a storm. The COVID 19 is defined as a virus caused by a severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the COVID 19 virus as a global pandemic and thus a global crisis. This has seen many countries embarking on nationwide lockdowns to expand efforts of flattening the curve of the virus spread. The proactive approach is a necessary intervention to control the movement of the virus, taking into consideration the insufficiency of proper and quality health infrastructure for many countries to can handle this major health crisis. South Africa is not immune to this pandemic.

The number of infection cases across the world sits at over 2 (two) million and it is anticipated that these will rise rapidly. The virus presents to the world a un-precedented task and moment of history and it is a clarion call to all members of society, the clergy and political class, the economic class and the noble to take a solid stance.

The virus survives on movement and human contact, which are the essence of living. The greatest defence against the virus is not medical or scientific; the defence is practicing good, healthy and hygiene lifestyle and social distancing as prevention measures for the wide spread.

At the centre of the fight against the virus is the adequacy and effectiveness of health systems in every country. However, there is another fight that the civil society can take over to support and assist the government by employing varied programmes for mobilization, education, alertness and awareness taken to communities to save lives.

The concerted efforts to combat the COViD-19 virus are very critical and crucial for health, life and for the wellbeing of the nation. The failures of our country and its various sectors to realize the importance of concerted efforts to fight this pandemic will result in a catastrophe and a huge risk for the future of the country.

The position of Kwetso Foundation (KF); with its understanding and experience through its work in the rural and under-developed areas; is that there is indeed a desperate need to apply ‘prevention is better than cure’ strategic approach to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread.

People in rural and under-developed areas are the most vulnerable and susceptible to the detriment of COVID-19 spread and this demands something to be done now.

The following interventions can add a great value if implemented aggressively and wisely:

  • Education & Awareness Campaigns
  • Provision of preventive hygienic resources and healthy food
  • Continuous observation and evaluation for more understanding

The ‘Be Informed, Wise and Healthy (BI-WHY) Programme’ is conceptualized by Kwetso Foundation to align with the above-mentioned interventions. This is a part of our contribution to assist our country to fight this pandemic.

Rural provinces in South Africa are mostly socio-economically vulnerable and demand extra support. These provinces are mostly hit by poverty, crime and substance abuse and would consequently be more susceptible to the spread of COVID-19.  These are the areas the BI-WHY programme will prioritize.

Kwetso Foundation believes if the exposure to the virus spread is not pro-actively curbed, it would be extremely difficult or even virtually impossible to control and remedy the plaque once it has spread. The huge challenge is the poor and in-adequate health infrastructure and systems within these areas. Through this campaign, we believe we can contribute to the current efforts by the government, private corporates and the civil society to mitigate the detriment of COVID-19 spread.

Education and awareness is key to saving lives. We have noticed a change in behaviour and lifestyle by many South Africans after they were informed of ways they can adopt to protect themselves against COVID-19. When people are given knowledge, they are given power to make an informed choice.

Therefore, intervention is needed in rural and under-developed areas where this information does not widely reach. Areas where there is limited or no access to television, radio, newspaper, cell-phones, social media and websites are areas that are desperate for help. This is the rationale of the BI-WHY programme. This programme is geared to take the right information about COVID-19 to these places through education campaigns, to provide consumables that are needed to prevent the spread (sanitizers, gloves, detergents, masks, etc) as well as healthy food. Through this programme, more data will also be collected through observations and evaluations to gather more understanding of the status quo.

Kwetso Foundation calls for any kind of help and support towards the BI-WHY programme wide implementation in earmarked areas.

This programme is pivoted around the values of people centered-ness, sensitivity, openness, care, empathy, compassion, integrity and patriotism.

        ‘We are South Africans and South Africa is us’

    (“Together we are Safe & Alive”)